Potential side effects of LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Side effects are widely viewed with trepidation; for example, nobody wants an unwanted side effect like amnesia. Heck, even the slightest negative effect from something that’s intended to improve your quality of life is extremely unwelcome.

Unfortunately, many medications and surgeries come with a long list of possible side effects.

I don’t know about you, but any time I’m going to try something new—no matter whether it’s surgery or a different brand of toothpaste—I search high and low for even the smallest possibility it might cause an unwanted effect. For example, when you start taking medication for restless leg syndrome, you know there is a slight chance you could forget your name and home address.

Thankfully, due to advancements in pharmacology and technology used in medical procedures, side effects are becoming less and less likely to appear.

The developments seen in the Laser Eye Surgery industry—particularly in techniques such as LASIK—are a great example of this. When compared to earlier forms of Laser Eye Surgery such as PRK/LASEK, LASIK performs better across the board, bringing the chances of experiencing side effects dramatically down.

Potential Side Effects of LASIK

A small number of patients experience mild side effects from LASIK surgery.

No need to worry about forgetting you are Janet from Surrey, though, LASIK side effects are few in number and short in duration. The three potential side effects to be aware of are: Light sensitivity, halos and starbursts, and dry eyes. Let’s take a look at each in detail.

Light Sensitivity

LASIK surgery’s very normal side effect is experiencing light sensitivity—particularly in the few hours following treatment. It generally disappears within 12-24 hours, however as everyone’s eyes recover at different rates, sometimes light sensitivity can last a couple of weeks.

For many patients, it is considered only a minor side effect, and is not found to hinder going about day to day life. However, if appropriate, you may be recommended to wear sunglasses on the day—and subsequent days—of the surgery.

Halos and Starbursts

Halos and starbursts are names that describe two different abnormalities in your vision that occur when looking at bright lights. The term ‘Halos’ describes the rings which appear around light sources, while ‘starbursts’ is the name given to the glare around them.

For some people, this happens due to the surface of the cornea being re-shaped during surgery. It’s all part of their natural healing process, and can be expected to last a couple of days or several weeks in some cases.

Dry Eyes

Most people have dry eyes post LASIK surgery and are supplied with lubricating eye drops to manage them as the problem gradually disappears.

For the patients who have an increased risk of persistent dry eyes, this would be made known in your initial consultation and the steps you can take to minimise their effects discussed with you in further detail.

Read more about our comprehensive initial consultation.

If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about potential side effects of LASIK or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.